Wednesday 8 January 2014

Out of Action

Depending on how well you know me or if you follow me on Twitter, you might or might not know about the disaster that hit me recently. Basically, we woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning to frying electrics and the entire apartment was flooded in two inches of water. It might not sound like a lot but it's enough to destroy everything and disrupt my life considerably. It's a move out job and the disruption will go on for months. Currently I have no bed tomorrow night and so you can probably see where this is going. The blog is going to be out of action for some time (I have no idea how long) and I'm likely to miss my blogoversary :( I'm going to try and rescue my books tomorrow so wish me luck and thank you for your patience and understanding. I'll be back when I can.

Monday 6 January 2014

Forever & Always Review

If you want to read the official synopsis, click here to visit Goodreads as I can’t be bothered to copy and paste it all out here as it would take half a page.

This is the first book I’ve read from author, Jasinder Wilder and the first book I’ve read in 2014 thanks to my good friend, fellow book blogger and book twin Emma who sent me this for Christmas.  The synopsis for Forever &  Always really sucked me in and that’s why I chose it as my first read of the year. Basically, two teenagers meet at camp and whilst there’s a mutual attraction and definitely a connection, nothing really happens between them but they decide to become pen pals.  They’re brutally honest through their letters, journaling everything that happens to them and seeking solace in each other when tragedy strikes not once, not twice but multiple times.  In some ways, the story is predictable but I’m okay with that because I WANTED them to be together.  It was the journey that was important.

Forever & Always was an entertaining read although it started as a Young Adult book and ended as a New Adult book which is definitely something new.  I enjoyed Cade and Ever’s journey, how they grew up over the years, and how that was reflected in their letters to each other (talking about first kisses, first love, first everything).  It reminded me a little of a relationship I had with a guy when I was a teenager and we wrote each other all the time, being brutally honest with each other.  Sadly, there was no attraction on my end and he was a bit older so it was only just friendship for me but we’re still friends today, years later.

Anyway, I digress.  I loved the fact that Ever was a twin and I enjoyed reading about the relationship with her sister and how different they were, each striving for their own identity.  The blossoming relationship between Cade and Ever was beautiful to watch at times, especially when they communicated using their shared passion – art.  I’d even go far as to say that at times, Forever & Always had a touch of The Notebook about it which is just one of the best romantic movies ever, so there’s that.

Now for the things that irked me.  Personally, I just don’t think that a fifteen year old would use the word “vapid” let alone know what it means and yes this is a generalised sweeping statement (and there will always be exceptions) but still.  I also didn’t like the way Ever felt the need to explain the hashtag phenomenon to Caden.  I believe this was more for the benefit of the readers perhaps but for me, it didn’t work as it’s common knowledge and I'm sure he would have already known about it. #inmyopinion.

Whilst the book was a cute read, and it was a little longer than it could have been perhaps, it was the ending that really disappointed me.   I won’t go into details for fear of spoiling it for those who want to read the book but I’m not even joking when I tell you that I wrote the ending in my head before it happened and then watched everything play out exactly as I had foreseen.  Also, beware that this book ends on a cliffhanger that’s supposed to shock but like I said, unfortunately it didn't work on me. 

There were also some grammatical errors in the book (which sadly, is becoming more commonplace nowadays) and I really wish I could ignore them but there are professional copy editors out there being paid to do my dream job and I’m the one picking up the errors?  Some of them were so blatant that I’d be surprised if it went through copy edits at all before being printed which is a shame.

Ultimately though, I do think Forever & Always is worth reading, especially if you’re a fan of the author but I wish it had been a standalone as opposed to being part of a trilogy as I’m in no hurry to read the rest of the series. 

Forever & Always was published on 15th December, 2013 and the sequel After Forever was also published on the same day with the third book coming in February.  To find out more about Jasinder Wilder and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Tears of Tess Review

A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and non consensual sex. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.

“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

Firstly, make sure you’ve read the first line of the synopsis to decide whether or not this is the book for you.  If you’re still with me, I’ll tell you outright that this is a really difficult review to write and I’m going to attempt to tell you why.  Tears of Tess was certainly an entertaining read and I enjoyed every minute of it, so much so that I would sneak away from family over the Christmas holidays just so I could read a little bit more.  So there's that.

BUT (and it’s a pretty big but)

I know I would have enjoyed it far more had I not read Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts first.  Captive in the Dark is a far superior book and deals with the same subject matter (human trafficking) albeit in a slightly different way.  It's incredibly written and has become one of my favourite dark stories ever.  Where Captive in the Dark is a dark and disturbing read, Tears of Tess is somewhat lighter and perhaps more suited to a New Adult audience but sadly, it just wasn’t as good and once you’ve tasted chocolate, vanilla just feels a little ordinary (no puns intended). 

With Tears of Tess, I also had an issue with one of the main characters “Q”.  He was definitely a man of contradictions and I couldn’t understand him all the time.  At first, I thought he just liked to be a bit naughty in the bedroom but I will never understand feeling joy or pleasure at hurting another person. Sorry, I just don’t get that part of things and I never will.

All in all, I did enjoy the book and I think I would recommend it to readers who think that Captive in the Dark might be too much for them, although I highly recommend Captive and you would be missing out if you didn’t read it.

Tears of Tess was published on 30th August, 2013 and is currently on sale for 49p.  To find out more about Pepper Winters and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Letterbox Love (#81)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

So, I'm working on the principle of better late than never with this blog post and what a lovely way to kick off the new year!  I'm still working on what my actual New Year's resolutions will be but rest assured there will be a reading/blog related one in there somewhere, that's for sure!  Now, onto the books...

Review Books

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This is a debut novel and a futuristic one at that.  I requested it from the Amazon Vine Programme because I can't get it out of my head and simply have to read it!

Banished by Liz De Jager
So apparently my blog name was given to the publisher but nothing happened so I requested this from the Amazon Vine Programme instead.  I'm incredibly proud to hold this book in my hands as it's written by a good friend and fellow UK book blogger.  I'm also pretty scared to read and review it for the same reasons but I'm definitely curious and I've been waiting for a long time to read her work!

The Beating of His Wings by Paul Hoffman (Unsolicited)
This is the third book in a series I haven't read so this is one for the library.

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells (Unsolicited)
Firstly, I love the fact that this is the first book in a new series and not the tenth book of a series I haven't read yet. Secondly, I know the author's name but I've not read any of her books but I just can't get over the fact that it's got werewolves in it and magic agencies.  I'm still a fan of the paranormal genre but it has to be something quite special nowadays or something that has my name written all over it to make me want to read it.  To be honest, I can't see me reading this.

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

I have not bought any physical books this week and have preferred to spend all my money on digital books.  Damn the kindle sale!

Books Gifted

Hero by Rhonda Byrne
The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
 I'm a huge fan of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and I wanted these for my collection.  
Thanks mum and dad!

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney 
I've wanted to read this book for the longest time and I asked Santa for it for Christmas and he kindly delivered. I love the fact that it's set in Paris and has a bit of magic to it.  It reminds me a little of Anna and the French Kiss in that respect and I loved that book.  I also like the fact that this is a standalone book, or at least I believe it is. 

UKYABB Secret Santa

I love the fact that my Secret Santa knows me so well and is not only trying to get me organised for 2014 but also wants to help me relax with a meditation CD and inspire my writing through the books...

The Five Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty
Another gift from my UKYABB Secret Santa as they know I'm a writer in training.  I like the idea that this is a book full of exercises to kick start your motivation and inspiration.  Thank you again, Santa!

Forever & Always by Jasinder Wilder
This book came from my UKYABB Secret Santa this Christmas and it's a New Adult book I haven't read.  I have to say that it does sound awesome and I trust this person implicitly as we like the same books so I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this.  Thank you Santa!


The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey (Bought)
I already have a hardback and a paperback of this book and I still haven't read it but when I saw it on sale for kindle, I bought it as sometimes I prefer to read this way.  

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (Bought)
I already have a paperback of this and have been meaning to read it for the longest time - again, it was in the kindle sale and often I prefer to read this way so I snapped it up as I cannot resist a bargain!

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Bought)
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (Bought)
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (Bought)
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (Bought)
Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder (Bought)
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder (Bought)

I have some but not all of this books in paperback and they came on sale over the Christmas period so I snapped them up. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Bought)
I've already read and reviewed this but just in case I want to re-read it, I thought I'd snap up the digital version with the new cover while it was on sale. 

Willing Captive by Belle Aurora (Bought)
I'm curious about this book and it's had some fantastic reviews.  I'm interested to know what a willing captive is and how that situation came to be.  

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne (Bought)
This is a contemporary fairy tale of sorts and any story involving a prince immediately has me interested. 

Forged by Jennifer Rush (Bought)
I loved Altered when it was published this time last year in the US and this is the prequel to the series so of course I had to get it.  It's only available as an ebook though otherwise I would have bought a hard copy for my collection.
Enslaved by the Ocean by Bella Jewel (Bought)
A pirate romance story? I'm so there just for the word pirate which screams refreshing to me. 

Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy (Bought)
I've heard so many good things about this book that I couldn't wait any longer and I bought it.   I am slightly scared though as this is about a solider fighting in Afghanistan, and the love he left behind.  I've been warned that this book is likely to rip my heart out which makes me nervous.  I'm going to have to find the right time to read this one I think.

Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon (Bought)
Apparently this is one for fans of Wallbanger by Alice Clayton (which incidentally, I LOVED).  It's supposed to be laugh out loud funny and a good story so I can't wait to dive into this one.  Plus, it was on sale when I bought it, so bonus!

Conversion by S.C. Stephens (Bought)
I cannot resist a vampire romance.  I don't know why but I just can't and every now and then, I'm in the mood for them. 

Beck by Harper Sloan (Bought)
This is book three in the series and whilst I haven't started them yet, I am sure I am going to love them so I bought this to go with the rest. 

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (Bought)
I really like Game of Thrones, the television programme but I've never read the book so when I saw this go on sale for 99p, I thought 'why not?!'.

Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi (Bought)
This is one of my favourite book series and one that is beautifully written.  This is a novella that has been released while we wait for the next book.  

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Bought)
I have heard so much about this book and how the TV rights have been sold fairly recently.  Apparently it's a classic book and I'm immensely curious.  This was on sale recently and I took the opportunity to buy it for future reading. 

Sempre Redemption by J.M. Darhower (Bought)
I really enjoyed Sempre and so when I saw that the sequel had come down in price recently, I pounced on it. 

I hope you all had a very bookish Christmas and that you've taken advantage of the kindle sales as much as I have.  Seriously though, sometimes I feel like I really need to get my one click finger in check!  Anyway, as always please share your links below and here's to a fantastic New Year :)

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater. Here's the synopsis:

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved? 
You all know that Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favourite YA authors and in fact, Shiver was the first book I read after the Twilight Saga stole my heart.  When the Shiver trilogy ended, EVERYONE wanted to know more about Cole and Isabel's ending as it was pretty much open to interpretation.  Never accuse Maggie of not listening to her fans because she has delivered exactly what we've all wanted in Sinner which is a standalone companion.  Thank you, Maggie!!  The only thing I'm not so happy with is the cover but only because it doesn't match the rest of the books and now they're bringing out brand new covers for the series.

Obviously I'm still going to buy it and read it would have been really nice if the first edition had matched the other books in some way.  Sinner is published on 1st July, 2014.



Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had a brilliant night with not too bad of a hangover ;)  I've got really high hopes for this year and I just a feeling that it's going to be great.  I'm starting a new job in January and it's a new start for me.  Hopefully, that means I have more time for reading, writing and blogging in general and by the time you read this, I will have my New Year's resolutions or GOALS written down.  

Thank you for reading my blog, enjoying my reviews and generally commenting on the posts.  I read and appreciate EVERY comment and I hope you'll continue reading the blog into 2014.

Cheers *clink*